Who Watches the Watchmen? We Do.

When the Highest Constitutional Authority in Our Government Becomes Unconstitutional - It Just Happened in Wisconsin

Who Watches the Watchmen? We Do.
Photo courtesy of the MacIver Institute, taken from Dan O’Donnell’s August 9th Column - https://www.maciverinstitute.com/2023/08/who-watches-the-watchmen/

Four arrogant, progressive activist justices functionally rewrote the State Constitution, declaring power that they do not possess.

What Happened?

In case you missed it with all the all the Trump indictment diversions, the new majority of liberal activist justices on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court wasted no time in cementing their iron fisted control of the operation of the court. In a downright shocking pair of moves that can rightfully be described as a coup, the four liberal justices circumvented the rules of the court to first fire Director of State Courts Randy Koschnick, and then stripped Chief Justice Annette Ziegler of her power to administer court business, which most notably includes determining which cases are taken up by the Court, and in what order.

“My colleagues' unprecedented dangerous conduct is the raw exercise of overreaching power. It is shameful. I fear this is only the beginning.”

Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, August 2, 2023

The Power Grab

Despite the fact that Article VII, Section 4 of the State Constitution states that “the chief justice of the supreme court shall be the administrative head of the judicial system and shall exercise this administrative authority pursuant to procedures adopted by the supreme court”, the new rogue majority of Justices took it upon themselves to decree that “there shall be a supreme court administrative committee comprised of the chief justice and two justices selected by a majority of the supreme court. The terms of the two members selected shall coincide with the duration of the term of the chief justice.” They functionally turned the constitutionally defined Chief Justice role into a 3 justice committee where the two justices that the majority decides on can overrule the decisions of the chief justice.

Fore additional detail:, read Dan O’Donnell’s excellent article,
published by the MacIver Institute.

Listen to Dan O’Donnell’s unprecedented conversation with Chief Justice Annette Ziegler discussing the blatantly unconstitutional actions of the liberal Justice majority
August 7th, 2023

These actions pave the way for the now progressive activist led court to rapidly enact their leftist agenda by legislating from the bench. One day after the fourth liberal activist justice Janet Protasiewicz was sworn in, leftists filed a case with the Supreme Court to declare the state’s legislative maps unconstitutional for favoring Republicans. This will undoubtedly be followed closely by cases attacking the State’s abortion laws and election integrity safeguards, among others.

It’s no surprise that liberals will try to obtain through the courts what they failed to achieve at the ballot box. “Sue Until It’s Blue” has been the standard tactic of the Democrat Left to get what they want when they can’t win regional elections. The only way that works is when cases are heard by sympathetic judges who rule based on their personal values rather than basing decisions on the law. It’s exactly what former Justice Kelly warned us of during his campaigns seeking reelection and subsequent election, only to be thwarted twice by liberal activist judges. We’re now seeing the natural consequences of electing a majority of progressive justices.

That Sounds Unconstitutional. Can They Do That?

If these actions sound unconstitutional to you, you’re not alone. They are blatantly so. How can they do that? The short answer is, they can’t, but did anyway. These four justices bestowed power on themselves using authority they do not actually possess.

“Sound like convoluted, circular logic that doesn’t withstand even the most cursory of scrutiny? It is. And Wisconsin should expect plenty of that this term. But far more concerning is the fact that four Supreme Court justices have so wantonly violated the Wisconsin Constitution.”

— Dan O’Donnell, Radio Personality

The very people charged with watching over our Constitutional rights at the highest level just openly and defiantly chose to disregard the Constitution to achieve their own personal agenda. Any legal challenge to this power grab would ultimately be decided by the same court who did it in the first place, prompting Dan O’Donnell, in his recent radio show and column article, to pose the question:

Who Watches the Watchmen?

One possibility would be for the legislature to impeach justice Janet Protasiewicz if she fails to recuse herself from hearing cases on topics that she publicly stated her positions on during her election campaign, such as legislative maps and abortion. She clearly demonstrated her personal bias on a number of topics while on the campaign trail. Republicans have a two-thirds majority in the state Senate, and could impeach her if the Assembly voted to refer her for impeachment over her conflict of interest. In that eventuality, her replacement would be appointed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Not a very satisfying solution which would likely result in another activist justice being appointed by the governor, rather than elected by the people.

In my opinion, the true answer to the question is:

We the People Do.

So what do we do about it? What power do We the People hold as it relates to the State Supreme Court? As it turns out, quite a bit if we work together in sufficient numbers. The First Amendment gives us the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. That certainly includes Supreme Court Justices, who are elected officials and responsible to us. The first step is to:

Let Them Know We’re Watching

Original artwork designed to let elected representatives know that We the People are watching. Feel free to post and share

Contact information for the offices of the liberal justices can be found using the button below.

Contact them, be polite. You’ll likely reach one of the clerks. Let them know that the recent power grab is not OK. It’s not too typical that the Office of the Justices get a lot of calls from citizen voters, so an influx may give them some pause.

The Power to Recall

Unlike the legislature, who has the power to remove a justice through the impeachment process, only to grant the governor the opportunity to appoint a different one for the remainder of the term, the People have the authority to remove any elected official, including a Supreme Court Justice, and force a new election. This takes a relatively monumental coordinated effort across the entire State, but could be accomplished.

Newly elected justice Janet Protasiewicz is not eligible for recall until after serving at least a year in office, but other activist justices, like Jill Karofsky, are. With the balance power of the court hanging on a single seat, recalling any of the progressive activist justices and electing one who will actually adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law would be a massive step in the right direction toward restoring sanity to the Court.

It’s an interesting possibility to consider. I’d like to believe that Patriots all across the state would be interested in advancing that effort, if it were to actually exist. What do you think? What are the pros / cons of this theoretical effort?